Brussels, 31 July 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): The ICFTU today condemned the killing on Sunday of 54 civilians, including at least 30 children, in an attack by the Israeli airforce on the Lebanese town of Qana. Once again, innocent civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict. Most of the 750 Lebanese who have been killed were civilians, and as many as 900,000 Lebanese are now believed to have been displaced from their homes. At least 18 Israeli civilians have lost their lives.
The tragedy of Qana underlines the urgency of an immediate and total ceasefire, and the start of serious dialogue involving the parties to the conflict. The international community must ensure, without any delay, that the United Nations has the necessary mandate and support to enable it to carry out peace-building, diplomatic and humanitarian action as set out in the ICFTU/WCL statement on the crisis in the Middle East of July 25.
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